Lightening talk slides

Slides for a lightening talk.  Easiest way to publish this, post it to my blog.

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Thoughts on headphones

I don’t like loud noises. I use an electric lawn mower because it’s quieter than a gas mower. I prefer to use my old-fashioned reel mower because it’s quieter than my electric mower. I have carried a set of earplugs in my pocket everywhere I go for a couple of years now.

I am not much of a music person. Don’t like concerts, too loud. I had a roommate in college who is a true audiophile, so I learned a little bit about the technology from him. He built me a custom speaker set that I turn down real low, for rich sound. I will probably keep these speakers for the rest of my life. I like them that much.

I’d not put much thought into headphones until a couple of years ago, when I had to move from a private office to a community office. I decided to get a set of headphones so I can drown out my office mates.

I thought I wanted a set of bluetooth noise cancelling headphones. I can’t afford such a beast. I found a bluetooth Sony sports headphones at BigLots for $30. These were good. I needed to turn them up a good amount to overcome the room noise.

Then I found a bone conduction bluetooth phone headset. The aftershokz bluez 2. I love these! I bought a set of in-ear shooting ear plugs to use in conjunction with the headset. Bone Conduction audio doesn’t push noise into your ear, it vibrates your jaw-bone instead. The headset doesn’t cover or block the ears, it sits in front of your ears. Wonderful device. You can have a conversation just fine with them on. In the office, I would stick in the shooting earplugs and be in my own little world. One of my favorite uses is while driving. I can have a conversation in the car and have the phone navigation system on the headset. I just love these. Wore them every day, every day for over a year.

Really, these things are just awesome. I love them.

Like anything made from plastic that gets used all day, every day, they broke. Buttons fell out which I used thread to tie back on. One of the temple pieces broke which I taped back up. Really, I need to get the newer model as they fix the few issues I had with the current set, but I can’t really justify $100 on something that I already have, even if broken but functional.

I just discovered a noise cancelling headphones set at Aldi. $30. I bought them for my wife, she goes through cheap headphones frequently. A pair a year or so. I thought I would get her a good set of headphones for a change. Right after I bought them, I borrowed them for a work trip to Rhode Island. I fell in love with them on the plane. Noise cancelling headphones are designed for airplanes I think. They have microphones in them that listen to the noise around them, and then play back a sound that will cancel out the sounds they hear. They emit a very faint his that you can hear if you listen closely. They knock most of that engine and air noise down to nearly nothing. I think half of my discomfort on planes is the noise – the other half is that my 6’4″ self doesn’t fit in them. They don’t do much reduction on people talking to you, maybe 25%? They do seem to help with that background drone of many people’s voices.

I liked them so much I bought a pair for myself, and another pair for a friend.

I was fiddling with them at work today. I plugged them into my computer, and turned the sound all the way down with the volume buttons, then up 1 press. I started playing some music at 50% volume on the music app. The sound is basically turned down all the way. You can’t hear the sound on the computer speakers. Using the headphones, you can barely hear the sound until the noise cancellation is turned on. All the noise from the air handlers and machines in the building just goes away, and music plays. This is how quiet I like noises. Basically no sound. It’s amazing how loud my building is.

So, it seems I like 2 extremes. Headphones that either completely cut out the noise from the outside world, and those that don’t cover the ears and block sound at all.

I bought a new battery once for a cell phone that was a year old

I decided then and there I will ALWAYS buy a new battery for my cell phones after a year. It fixes the 'battery life sucks' argument that new phones also solve. Much cheaper.

I also bought one of these Zero Lemon stupid big batteries for my last phone. I also love the oversized battery. Going to go this route every time it's available for me.

My current phone, a Galaxy Note Edge is a year old. I am struggling with getting it to survive a day at this point. So I just ordered this huge battery for it.

When I got my phone, I made a custom case for it. http://mike.creuzer.com/2015/08/i-few-months-back-i-bought-a-galaxy-note-edge-on-ebay.html 

I will do this again. I had bought 2 of the wireless charger & NFC backs, so I have a 2nd one still I will cut up and meld with the oversized back coming with the new battery. The back will 'fix' the fact that this battery doesn't support NFC. I LOVE NFC. I NEED NFC.

I need to figure out how to pull the contact pins from the back around the oversized battery and to the phone. Any suggestions anybody?

I will also make a new belt case for the phone as it will no longer fit into the one I already made. http://mike.creuzer.com/2015/08/i-made-a-custom-leather-belt-case-for-my-custom-wireless-charging-flip-cased-galaxy.html

So, I know what I will be doing this month for a personal project. New phone cases.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Extended Battery ,Zerolemon Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 9000mAh Extended Battery + Black TPU Full Edge Protection Case (Fits All Versions of Galaxy Note Edge)– Black

I bought my girls a soap making kit

We used it this morning… but we made it better.

We added REAL Lavender flowers, ground oatmeal and honey to make a much better soap for them to use. Tasted each, and talked about why we would want to add them to soap.

We made 6 half-bars out of the kit. Wrapped them up in waxed paper for storage. I doubt they will last long.

In album 12/6/15

I've been wanting the Learning Herbs Herbal Remedy Kit for several years now….

I've been wanting the Learning Herbs Herbal Remedy Kit for several years now. They just had a 50% off sale, so I got it. It really helps that Bella is almost as interested in Herbal remedies as I am. So I justified the kit as much as for her as for me.

This weekend we opened up the kit and started making stuff out of it. We got the Echinacea Tincture started – that takes 6 weeks. We also made the Healing Herbal Salve.

The kit came on Friday, so that night I put the herb mix into my crock pot to infuse and we went to dinner with friends. I let it cool in the crock pot over night and turned it back on in the morning to heat back up for the next step.

The girls and I made up the salve in the morning. I chose to use different containers than what came with the kit as I want to use the little tins with some other salves I've already got the oils made up for.

We also put a tincture and a glycerite I made earlier this year into a couple of the dropper bottles in the kit.

It's pretty neat to have my 5 year old tell me some of the properties of the plants as we are making the salve.

I've spent a lot of money at LearningHerbs.com over the last couple of years, but it's worth it. Not only for myself, but for my kids.

In album Home Made Salve

Some of the Learning Herbs Herbal Remedy Kit. I had already taken out and used half of it by this point that the photo was taken.

I used the crock pot on low to infuse my herbs into my oil. I think it runs just a little bit warmer than I want, but I can address that with either a mechanical timer to just on/off cycle it so it runs cooler or to build an actual heat controller for the crock pot.

I used my french press to separate the oil from the herbs. Works great.

My double boiler bowl is actually a dog bowl. Cheap stainless steel that won’t trigger an argument with my wife over her good kitchen gear.

I made a tin, 2 baby food jars, and the big jar that came in the kit. I chose to use the other tins in the kit for other salves. I can’t EVER follow directions.

More exciting than watching paint dry, watching salve cool.

A work of art!

The kit came with labels. A very nice finishing touch.